Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – #Poetry Vandana Bhasin and Smitha Vishwanath, #Supernaturalthriller Mae Clair, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle


The first book with a recent review is for poetry lovers  Roads: A Journey With Verses – Vandana Bhasin and Smitha Vishwanath

About Roads

“Roads” is a poetic rendezvous that takes the reader on a panoramic journey, making one pause, ponder and celebrate life.

The book is a light, alluring read that instantly strikes a chord and elevates one’s spirits. A trove of 60 poems, it is quilled with beads of nine virtues: Courage, Wisdom, Serenity, Love, Hope, Strength, Joy, Compassion and Gratitude. The verses encapsulate life’s ebbs and flows while prompting the reader to enjoy its simple pleasures.

“Roads” is a book that you would want to keep on your bedside, for a quiet read before retiring for the night or for the morning wisdom to seize the day. With poems revolving around emotions that each of us experiences, “Roads” very easily develops a personal connect with the reader that is defiantly refreshing.

“Roads” is a journey with verses. Take it on yours.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Roads: A Journey With Verses’ by Vandana Bhasin and Smitha Vishwanath is a brilliant collection of poems that talk about life, love and the paths that mold us, values that mentor us, and pay a tribute to the persons who hold our hand through turbulent times to make our journey smoother.

In perfect sync with each other, Smitha’s tenderness is complemented by the exquisite style of Vandana who lashes out at societal norms that fetter us to the threshold, trying to slash our wings to compress us into compartments. Bold and chilling, her poems question the dogma, the exploitation and injustice that have been meekly accepted in the name of parochial diktats. Raising voice against subjugation, she calls upon shedding “the mask” and “darn the rules.”

One of my favorites, ‘Writer vs. Woman’ validates the power that lies dormant within the so-called fragile woman who proudly declares: “Do I need a better armor when words are my defense?” Realism percolates through their words as they capture a thousand emotions with élan. ‘Miss You When You’re Gone’ touches the most precious memories of letting go and break free from the stifling love that lingers despite the pride of watching our children soar toward the horizon of their choice. All mothers could relate to the pangs embedded within the words of Smitha.

For a person like me who values emotions and relationships, these poems are heart-warming. Along with tender moments of nurturing love and trust, self-belief, determination and courage stand out to reassure that there is no need to be swayed by the age-old traditions of embracing the defined roles. These poems would tug at your heart; stirring a thousand moments that stand and smile at you, reassuring that roads of life may be arduous yet shimmer with hope and happiness.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Connect to Vandana via her blog: My Feelings My Freedom

Smitha V

Connect to Smitha via her Blog: Life a Teacher

The next author with recent reviews for her latest release is Mae Clair for Eventide (A Hode’s Hill Novel Book 3)

About Eventide

The darkness is coming . . .

The old house near Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania is a place for Madison Hewitt to start over—to put the trauma of her husband’s murder, and her subsequent breakdown, behind her. She isn’t bothered by a burial plot on the property, or the mysterious, sealed cistern in the basement. Not at first. Even the presence of cold spots and strange odors could be fabrications of her still troubled mind. But how to explain her slashed tires, or the ominous messages that grow ever more threatening?

Convinced the answer lies in the past, Madison delves into the history of the home’s original owners, only to discover the origin of a powerful evil. An entity that may be connected to a series of gruesome attacks that have left police baffled. No matter where she turns—past or present—terror lingers just a step away, spurred on by a twisted obsession that can only be satisfied through death…

One of the recent reviews for the book

Tripower53 VINE VOICE – 4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice addition to the series January 4, 2020

This book is an excellent addition to the series.

Madison Hewitt witnessed the stabbing death of her husband some time ago. She has now declared herself recovered and a bought an old house in an isolated spot in Pennsylvania.

But all is not well in her new house. There are noises – and that cistern in the basement!!

This story move back and forth between the present and the 1890’s. Something very bad happened back then and the old house has held on to it.

Tension ratchets up as the story goes along. Ms. Clair is a fantastic writer. Her stories are filled with reality. That is to say, the reader could almost believe that the events are really happening. The book is remarkably well written and plotted. One event follows another in a logical progression. The characters are colorful and likable – for the most part. I liked Madison, her slightly psychic sister and her new beau. Well done, Ms. Clair! More please.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and on: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Mae Clair

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Mae on: Goodreads

Connect to Mae via her website: Mae Clair

The next book is an award winning poetry collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude written by Miriam Hurdle.

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

A recent review for the collection

Jan 02, 2020 H.R.R. Gorman rated it Five Stars


As I read through many of these poems, I had a feeling like I was reading the book of Psalms. Miriam is a fitting Psalmist, I’d say – her zest for life and ability to see the Creator in all things is admirable and amazing. Reading this book made me feel like I was intimately connected with he author.

And Miriam Hurdle, I dare say, is someone everyone should know.

If you enjoy poetry or want to be inspired, this is a great set of poetry. I read the poems one or two a day (sometimes I’d cheat) and try to soak them in. I don’t know if this is the way I was supposed to enjoy it, but I think it worked for me.

Also a hint: there are some photos in this. I can’t comment too much on them because I have an old Kindle that didn’t show them in good quality. If you want full effect, go f

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read reviews and follow Miriam: Goodreads

Connect to Miriam via her website: The Showers of Blessings

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a book or two under your arm..thanks Sally